One of my all-time favorite martial arts films is Bloodsport starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. It is based on a true story about the legendary martial artist Frank Dux. I love this film due to Jean-Claude Van Damme character’s resilience to continue fighting until he reached his goal of becoming the first American to win the Kumite set in Hong Kong.
For those that do not know what the Kumite is, it is a secret underground tournament that many martial artists around the world participated in. The objective is to defeat your opponent in the ring without getting injured or even killed. You can compare this film to a video game. As you advance to the next round, each level becomes more difficult.
My favorite part of the film that I liked the most was when Frank Dux’s friend Ray Jackson(portrayed by Donald Gibb from Revenge of the Nerds franchise) got defeated badly by Chong Li(portrayed by Bolo Yeung) and it motivated Frank to take the necessary steps in defeating him.
It was a sacrifice that he needed to take in order to achieve his goal. This film can be applied to everyone’s life in some way. For example, if someone wants to become an entrepreneur and work for themselves, they need to put the necessary time and effort into making it work. The most important thing that Bloodsport taught me is investing in myself and having the willingness to stay persistent during the difficult times.
Another scene in the film that stood out to me was known as the Dim Mak sequence aka Death Touch. Frank Dux(Jean-Claude Van Damme) was presented with a group of bricks. It seems abundantly clear that it would have been easier to break the top brick. However, one of the martial arts instructors challenged him to break the bottom brick instead of the top one.
Bloodsport reminds me of game 7 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. There were many people that believed Lebron James would never win a championship in Cleveland but proved the naysayers wrong. Strength is not measured by the way a person looks, but by their willingness to endure hardships against all odds and still strive towards greatness. A person’s resilience counts more than their size. In the film, Frank Dux believed that he could win the title against the defending champion Chong Li and proved it.
This story is no different than the late great Muhammad Ali defeating Sonny Liston in becoming the heavyweight champion against Sonny Liston and similar to the Rocky films starring Sylvester Stallone. Bloodsport serves as an example that you can accomplish anything by working hard and believing in yourself.